Bitwig Studio 5.2

Bitwig 5 2

Bitwig announces their first major update of 2024. Bitwig Studio 5.2 comes with a new set of studio tools: a professional compressor (Compressor+) that brings a unique approach to dynamics, three hardware-inspired EQs (Focus, Sculpt, and Tilt), a clipper device called Over. There are also significant workflow enhancements, including more precise editing, dynamic beat detection and hardware acceleration for our graphic interface.

Compressor+ is an all-in-one compressor for any use case. Its combination of familiar with unusual controls and its superior approach to analyzing audio make it excel at adding color and tone as well as mastering. Six Characters engage different styles of compression by changing various gain reduction and envelope behaviors and numerous "under the hood" settings:

  • Vanil­la (the de­fault character) ap­plies pa­ra­me­ters lit­er­al­ly, in­clud­ing At­tack and Re­lease times go­ing all the way down to zero.
  • Smooth uses slow per-band re­sponse, of­fer­ing min­i­mal dis­tortion.
  • Over tends com­press more quick­ly, but in a sta­ble way.
  • Glue is slow to en­gage and quick to re­lease, making it good for tran­sient preser­va­tion on the mix buss or any­where else.
  • Re­sist has longer en­velopes and tries to quick­ly snap back after­ward to pre­serve bass and add even har­mon­ics when pushed.
  • Smash over-ac­cel­er­ates the at­tacks and re­leas­es and uses the Auto Tim­ing control to fur­ther in­crease ac­cel­er­a­tion.

Bitwig 5 2 Compressor

The special Auto Timing control is the amount that timing parameters (Attack, Release, and more) are automatically adjusted to suit the incoming audio. Taken together, the combination of the Character choice and Auto Timing setting offers a wide sonic variety. Compressor+ analyzes incoming audio across four frequency bands, which are shown on the device's colorful display and in the expanded view. Fold it out to access each band's Intensity and Timing offsets in order to fine-tune which parts of the signal cause compression. So if you want the bass to trigger less, just decrease its band's Intensity. Or if your settings are a little tight on the vocals, try increasing the Timing offset for the hi-mids.

The device comes with three modes that determine the compressor’s behavior:

  • Standard compressor mode is the default, that offers a normal range of compressor ratio settings.
  • Beyond has an extended compressor range, adding under- and over-compression options by replacing Ratio with a Ratio Extended control.
  • Dual is the mode for upwards compression. It lifts quieter signals too by replacing the Knee control with a Lift parameter, which smoothly moves through the custom curves for bumping the signal below the threshold.

The output section of the compressor is stocked with different VCA Colors:

  • Clear (the de­fault) applies no coloring.
  • Prism gives a clean blend of true multi­band com­pres­sion, with uni­fied sin­gle-band com­pres­sion.
  • Tran­sis­tor pro­vides a con­sis­tent ana­log feel, with a low bump and slight­ly re­duced highs.
  • Sat­u­rate has a mov­ing ana­log feel, like tape saturation, with a mid-range bump and some frequency-dependent behavior.

In Bitwig Studio 5.2 a new trio of EQs inspired by classic hardware - Focus, Sculpt, and Tilt - bring a natural musicality to the task of shaping sound. Sculpt inherited the controls and components of the renowned Pultec EQP-1, a vintage broadband EQ good for bass sweet­en­ing and more, us­ing preset frequen­cy choic­es to quickly dial in magic. But the choice of saturation is left to you, from the matching Tube style, to Transistor for even harmonics and mid-range punch, or even a clinically Clean model. Focus took the same approach to recreating the choices and components of the mid-range-oriented MEQ-5. After tuning those sonic "power" regions, similar saturation choices are a click away.

Bitwig 5 2 EQs

Tilt's simple interface lets you re-balance any sound to be brighter or darker, with additional choices for the center Frequency and how steep the Slope is. A Stereo-ize op­tion is available in all three EQs for ef­fec­tive­ly du­plicat­ing the unit and then tilt­ing it a vari­able Amount in the Stereo field (to push up fre­quen­cies and gain in the left or right chan­nel), or to ap­ply in the mid-side do­main.

Mouseless navigation is a breeze in Bitwig Studio 5.2. Your arrow keys can now send you between relevant points of interest in clips or on the Arranger Timeline, or even between different tracks in your project. Cruise the Arranger Timeline via small increments like beat divisions, automation points, clip starts and ends and more. Jump from the beginning to the end of notes within their clips, or from transient to transient in audio clips. Make a selection - of notes, clips, events, etc. - across one or more tracks. And you can do all this without leaving the keyboard. But there are subtle and significant quality-of-life improvements when using a mouse, too. Your cursor will snap to fade points and other convenient locations. And a simple right-click can Set Clip Start wherever it lands.

Speaking of quality-of-life improvements, 5.0's better onset detection bears fruit this update in ways that streamline working with different tempos. You can trust Bitwig Studio to accurately warp long audio files for you - even those with variable tempos will stay on track. Alternatively, your project can adapt to the clip's time, bringing new conveniences to the process of making DJ mixes, podcasts, or adding production to long recordings. Your project can adopt an audio clip's tempo as a static value with Set Current Tempo, or apply its timing changes as an automation curve on the global tempo with the Apply Tempo Curve To Arranger command.

Bitwig also rewrote the graphics engine to be more responsive and efficient. Painting the interface on your computer's GPU gives native hardware acceleration, and more CPU is now available for your audio. Also, knobs pop more and scopes have a fresh look. Drawing in general has been highly optimized as well, running fewer commands and giving springier results. So whether you just have high track counts and thousands of events or you are fond of quick zooming and editing, you will be covered. On all three platforms.

A few new ideas appeared while designing their new sound design tools:

  • Over is a boutique clipper that harnesses multiband, oversampling, and a slot for wet-only effects. So add a nice crispy crust to any sound, or just burn it down.
  • The Chain device also got its own Learn Wet Gain option, giving you a perfectly configured Mix knob for blending any audio effect chain, including plug-ins.
  • The Grid now has Crossover-2 and Crossover-3 modules in the Mix category.
  • Additionally, Multi-Note got its own Chord Learn function for immediate programming and playback.
  • The FX Selector device earned crossfade timings so you can fine-tune your transitions. And for programming synth structures, the variable Shift Register module and simple All-pass might help you out.
  • Plug-in Undo allows you to quickly undo changes applied to third-party plug-ins. So no matter what you change, Bitwig can always bring you that critical one step back.

Beta testing of Bitwig Studio 5.2 starts now. If you have an active Upgrade Plan, you'll find the installers in your user profile. This is a free upgrade for all customers with an active Upgrade Plan as of today (April 25, 2024). We expect a final release of 5.2 this summer. Please note that 5.2 has updated system requirements. Starting with this version, you'll need at least Windows 10, macOS 10.15 or later, and Ubuntu 22.04 or later. And for graphics, on Windows you'll need DirectX 11 or higher, and on Linux, DX11-level Vulkan.